In this week’s episode of The Breakout Growth Podcast, Sean Ellis and Ethan Garr are joined by Hugo Pereira as he describes the experience of bringing the lessons of leading a hyper-growth rocketship into his new role as a startup founder.
When Hugo first appeared on the podcast in 2020 he was Chief Growth Officer of EVBox, a manufacturer of electric vehicle charging stations. The market was exploding, and Hugo had discovered that the more he and his team leaned into customer advocacy as a mechanism for leading their industry, the more success they could drive.
Listen to the original interview here
After seven years, Hugo decided it was time for a change. While taking a sabbatical with his family, the idea for Ritmoo, a team communications and engagement platform, was born. And today, Hugo is on his way and applying the lessons from his EVBox days to building something unique and valuable.
So, in this conversation, we look to understand how Hugo approaches his search for product/market fit, and how his experience informs his thinking and decision-making. We also ask how his passion for customer advocacy can serve him in this next chapter of his career.
We even discuss how some of his EVBox experiences may have to be unlearned or rethought as he faces new challenges in a very different startup environment.
Hugo’s experience and track record are powerful tools to guide his next chapter, but the reality is that there are no guarantees for new businesses. So this is an honest conversation about taking a big shot but giving yourself the best odds using what you have learned as your compass.
- From Hypergrowth to starting anew: Hugo’s Journey (05:01)
- Bringing learnings from growth stages into a startup (10:51)
- Putting the focus on customers, not competition (12:21)
- Too many choices and other founder challenges (19:48)
- Principles for building a new tool for businesses (38:33)
And much, much, more . . .
Announcer 00:00:08 Welcome to the Breakout Growth Podcast, where Sean Ellis and Ethan Garr interview leaders from the world’s-fastest growing companies to get to the heart of what’s really driving their growth. And now here are your hosts, Sean Ellis and Ethan Garr.
Sean Ellis 00:00:26 All right. In this week’s episode of the Breakout Growth Podcast, Ethan Garr and I chat with Hugo Pereira. You may remember Hugo from an early episode when he was leading growth at EVBox and electric vehicle charging stations manufacturer that was in hypergrowth scale up mode. It was a great conversation and we, when we heard that Hugo was now building riu, a startup team communications and engagement platform, we thought this could be a really interesting revisit and we weren’t disappointed. So Ethan, what stood out to you?
Ethan Garr 00:00:56 Oh, man. Sean, I’m such a Hugo fan, uh, when he was first on the podcast with you, I wasn’t even your co-host yet, but I just remember listening to that conversation and thinking, this is how I wanna look at the world. Hugo has this personal mission to be a continuous agent for positive change, and he’s so intentional with that. He talks about that every time you hear it, you talk to him and you can tell he just lives it every day and is bringing that into this startup work. And, you know, it’s just such a different world from that rocket ship scale up EVBox that he was at to now this pre-product market fit startup. But I think it’s that contrast where the learnings are in this conversation.
Sean Ellis 00:01:29 Yeah, I think that’s where our listeners are gonna find some real value in this conversation, Hugo, bringing that amazing scale up experience into his approach to driving startup success. But he isn’t making the common mistake of believing that because you found product market fit in one place, you’re automatically gonna find it in another. He’s listening to the market, he’s talking to people about their problems. He’s running pilots, he’s doing everything that you need to do to give yourself that fighting chance. It’s a systematic data driven and experiment based approach.
Ethan Garr 00:02:01 Yeah, definitely. I, and you know, and I know the odds are always stacked against startups, but if I had to bet on someone being able to figure it out, I’d just bet on Hugo. I think his approach is just so sound. And you know, there was this one moment where he said that if he and his co-founder find that their product assumptions are wrong, they’d be willing to do, go into the service business mode for a year or more just to recalibrate their approach and better understand the market. And I think, you know, most founders probably don’t have that, that room, but most when you have the patience. And I think that, you know, it just makes so much sense as he thinks about this new kind of world that he’s approaching.
Sean Ellis 00:02:33 Agreed. And his scale up experience helps him to think about prioritization and goals in a way that most founders can’t. He had to learn how and when to say no at EVBox to keep an eye on what really mattered. And that’s particularly important when you’re trying to find product market fit in the startup world.
Ethan Garr 00:02:50 Yeah. He has a super principled approach to leadership and focus, and I think, you know, he’s just really good at articulating that in a way that our listeners are gonna be able, able to benefit from and relate to. I don’t think people hear this and think of this as like an academic exercise. It’s just down to earth, actionable insights from a really smart guy,
Sean Ellis 00:03:07 <laugh>. Yeah. Well, I think you’re right, Ethan and I wouldn’t bet against Hugo either. It may take some time, but he’s one of the real leaders in the growth space, and I have a feeling that we’re gonna have him back on to talk about rit mo’s growth in the not too distant future. So should we jump in?
Ethan Garr 00:03:23 Yeah, let’s do it.
Sean Ellis 00:03:33 Hey, Hugo, welcome back to the Breakout Growth podcast.
Hugo Pereira 00:03:36 Thank you, Sean. Thanks Heat, and really great to be back here. And thanks for the honor to be back. It’s almost like a veteran here. <laugh>
Sean Ellis 00:03:44 <laugh>. Yeah, absolutely. Uh, and as you mentioned, I’m I’m joined by my co-host, Ethan. Hey, Ethan.
Ethan Garr 00:03:48 Hey, Sean. Hey, you go, good to see you again.
Sean Ellis 00:03:51 It is fun. We haven’t done a recording for a while, so, uh, I’m ex I’m excited to be, uh, to be doing another recording. We had a, a bunch of them backed up, and so now this is, I think this is our first of 2023, so almost says 2022. So it’s, it’s how, uh, how much of a, of, of a, uh, time warp that I’m in, but, um, all right, well, we, we’ll jump right into it. So, uh, so we actually, as, as Hug mentioned, he’s a, he’s a bit of a veteran and, and, uh, he’s, he’s been here on the Breakout Growth podcast in the past with a company called EVBox. And so they’re, uh, manufacturer of electric vehicle charging stations and a super fast growth company where, uh, Hugo was, uh, chief Growth Officer, and now we have him back on as the founder of his own startup. And so it, it’s gonna be a, an interesting conversation contrasting a super fast growing company to one that, that that, and that fast growing company actually had been acquired to one now where you’re starting the journey from the beginning. So maybe you can give us a, uh, a a quick introduction to what Ritmo is and, and what drove you to take on this new challenge.
Hugo Pereira 00:05:01 Yeah, so, so, so ev EVBox, in order to wrap up that story, EV EVBox was a fantastic experience, you know, a hyper growth experience from, uh, 10 to 600 people in, in, you know, close to five, six years. And then, uh, we grew also from, I don’t know, six, 7 million to a hundred plus million revenue. So, so that was all great. Um, and I’ll nurture the experience for life learnings, achievements, failures. The trigger for Remo happened actually with the sabbatical I took after EVBox. So me and my wife and my daughter, which was a six month old daughter. We went to Costa Rica for three months. And during that period, it helped me reflect not just on EVBox, but all the prior experience I’ve had with startups and scale up and try to figure out, okay, who am I without EVBox?
Hugo Pereira 00:05:50 Yeah. Because you become very linked with the success of a company. So I was like, okay, so, so who, who am I now? If not, uh, if not the growth officer or the person that was with EVBox. So back to my kind of personal, let’s call it North Star or or personal statement, I really want to be a continuous agent of positive change, that that’s kind of my internal core. So I start reconnecting a lot with the people that I hadn’t been in contact with, EVBox, uh, you know, maybe sadly so, but the intensity of a startup on Scaleup sometimes Trump’s personal relationships. And I was like, okay, the last seven years have been a little bit, maybe too much focus on the growth, and now let me reconnect with people I work in the past where they are. And that conversation led me to the realization that there was something off with the way that teams are being engaged or being managed nowadays.
Hugo Pereira 00:06:41 Um, and due to a variety of factors, a lot of conversations that we’re talking about how trust between managers and employees were lost or harder to be retained on how the post pandemic remote and hybrid work bot challenges on a day-to-day basis on how to manage a team almost virtually, but no one was changing the habits and the organizations were becoming more top down rather than a bottom up conversation. And somehow there’s more tools than ever before for knowledge management like Nosha and Click Up. But, uh, information overload is making really hard for PE teams to be productive. So, so many conversations were there, and then I realized, okay, what about trying to start something simple, which is a vision to build a platform that just enables a productive team culture? That was the basis for Ritmo. And then with that, I was like, okay, but what does that mean?
Hugo Pereira 00:07:34 And then we are like, okay, let’s start by thinking that Ritmo be a place where you bring clarity to the team by making collective decisions where people can engage in conversations on a specific topic, call out a decision, and then rate the decision that was made the month, three months and six months down the line. Because that’s one thing that never happens, which is what is the impact of something we have decided on down the line. Uh, and doing that by integrating data like Salesforce, Google Analytics, so for enforcing or empowering the team to be data driven from the get go. And then the other part is running habit forming experiments, which in product is very common to do. Yeah. So we want to run an experiment. We did an, we build an hypothesis, what is the expected outcome? How do we run the experiment and how we gonna track the improvement?
Hugo Pereira 00:08:21 But funny enough, no one does that for the team. You know, no one runs an experiment on the team as simple as how can we improve trust amongst the team and inc improve and increase psychological safety, and just let the team run with a few hypothesis, let them run the experiment, the team members, not the manager, but the team members. And then once the outcome is there at do and scale that, that’s essentially the concept behind. So just helping build this collective decision making, having an experiment sort of platform that helps, uh, track the experiments on the team, and then automating the rituals to create an effective team workflow. So kind of create recipes for a retrospective for a Monday kickoff. So that’s the, the hidden part behind Ritmo. But overall, we want to iterate and figure out how we can really be, uh, a coach behind the team to create a productive team culture and very practically speaking.
Sean Ellis 00:09:18 Great. I have, I have another question for you, but I wanna bring Ethan in here, <laugh>. Uh, so I’ll, I’ll I’ll save it for, for a little bit, Ethan. Uh, go for
Ethan Garr 00:09:25 It. Yeah, no, it’s, it, it’s interesting because when, when Sean and I, uh, have coached growth teams a lot, you know, you think of it like, okay, you know, how are we gonna organize the growth team? And you launch it and it’s never what you think it’s gonna be, and it always ends up being a series of experiments to figure out what’s the right approach to kind of balance the needs and, and the culture. Um, so I, I do like the idea that it’s a way to sort of build in testing into your own processes that’s actually sort of tracked and managed. And I love the idea of reviewing decisions over time, because a lot of times we just live with them and hope for the best. Um, but I think it probably is super valuable to think about it, like, how do, how in general, how are we looking back at our decision making?
Ethan Garr 00:10:12 Do we have to, you know, optimize that? Um, what I was curious about though was as you made this transition from this really like large hypergrowth company with all the success into the world of the startup world, which is so different, I mean 600 people to probably a handful of people now, um, I’m curious what you brought from the scale up world that you think really is going to help you be a better founder and, and better leader, uh, in this role. And also maybe is there anything that you had to sort of unlearn or, uh, push aside because you’d say that actually might be detrimental in, you know, in this, in the startup world?
Hugo Pereira 00:10:51 Oof. That that is a, that is a really big question. Um, definitely going through all the different stages of growth at EVBox helps you gain memory muscle on what to do at certain different stages, at least understanding, oh, these are the common challenge that happens at this phase and this is what you can do about that, or the multiple options. Um, I actually believe at this stage of the company, the previous startups can help me more because was the search for the product market fit. But once product market fit is found, there are a few things at TV Box that happened well and didn’t happen so well that helped me out. One of them being, for example, to continuously reengage the organization on what is key focus and what matters most, and having the courage to say no to things that are in priority to that growth path.
Hugo Pereira 00:11:37 And I say specifically courage to say no, because a lot of the times what happens, especially B2B SaaS, is you go after your segment, you grow, grow, grow, and then maybe there is one enterprise company that wants to come in and then you are like, oh, this is a really big contract, but it might not be the right fit for, for your product. But then you go after this enterprise and try to solve their customer pain. Um, you know, and the, all the other ones that you are targeting that were part of your growth path are left behind and not really having the usability for your product anymore. So that’s one of the things that with EVBox is definitely a great learning. And at, at its best, I felt that EVBox was really connecting purpose, priority, and productivity really well. There was a very clear mission that everyone was connected with.
Hugo Pereira 00:12:21 The priorities were well set and driven, uh, through the organization, and everyone was being productive by trusting each other’s expertise. That was the moment we were at our best as an organization. Um, and that also happened because the attention was put on what the customer wants, moreover, what the competition is doing. And that’s one thing that I want to also bring with me, which is the tendency to look at the competition pretty quickly, or they are doing this, they are doing this, they are doing this, let’s do the same, especially on the feature wise and maybe losing touch with the customer is something I, I do not want to forget. So those for me are key elements of the scaling up that I, I want to bring up on the unlearning part. Um, I think one of them is, is kind of a, a, a privilege that happened at TV Box, which was, uh, the fact that it was a mindset to serve the industry and, uh, and is partnering up together, you know, being very close even with competition to work together to solve a customer pain.
Hugo Pereira 00:13:19 And I’m now conscious that I have to learn and learn a little bit that mindset that, that maybe I have to understand that it is a very competitive world where I’m headed towards and the people I’m addressing and a target on I’m addressing are going to evaluate different propositions to solve their pains. And I’m not gonna be the only one. So that is an unlearning I have to do. And the other one is just the amount of investment that went into EVBox into hiring technology investments that was very easy to get used to, you know, like, uh, uh, not unlimited budget, but more than enough budget to operate what you need. And the reality is that now I have to operate more on a creative way of reaching the customers rather than, I dunno, advertisement spent or a big, big brand awareness investment. So I think I have to unlearn the, you know, the easiness of getting that money to execute things. So I have to be much more smarter and creative on getting attention to what the problem is solve, uh, to what the product is solving.
Sean Ellis 00:14:17 Yeah, I think the, uh, the, the contrast of what you’re doing right now is so big compared to, compared to when we had you on before. Um, I think you were saying you were, you know, at times the, the company’s adding 50 people in a month and you know, these, these massive scaling challenges and, and you know, at, at your stage, you know, trying to, trying to get the right solution and understand the market in the right way, it’s, it’s, uh, it’s kind of a, a different type of, of puzzle piece that you’re dealing with, but I, I do think some of that, some of that, that scaling that you were, were doing, that massive scaling that you were doing probably informs the product roadmap to some, some degree. Um, I’m, I’m curious how, uh, how, how you’re using that experience to, to, to help you guide development of the product.
Hugo Pereira 00:15:07 Yeah, so, so definitely, definitely helps and especially in two ways. One of them, in that crazy period of people onboarding, uh, a lot of the focus we’ve put at the time was on the onboarding experience that three days, one week, two weeks, we, we changed a, a variety of times those very intense on presentations workshops. But then after those two weeks, people were like, okay, now go onto, your role is execute and thank you very much. See you in one of the next meetups. And people have to basically get up and running, read a bunch of documents on Confluence, slack. But what I realized is that they took quite, especially as a company started growing faster and faster was getting bigger, it was really tough for them to understand how they differe, how can they add value to the team because the team was changing so fast that they didn’t understand how the team made decisions or how the team communicated and engaged.
Hugo Pereira 00:15:59 And, uh, there is no way to just, no one was scrolling up on Slack threads and seeing like, oh, let me see what they discuss about this. No one has the time or the intent to do that. But they would love to, they will have to join the team and be like, oh, let me think about what they made decisions on product marketing in the past, or what kind of decisions or experiments they run in the past. How does the team come to decisions who participates? All that information is so valuable for you to understand who you are joining and what kind of value can add and contribute with. So that, that keeps on my mind off the back, which is, okay, how can this be kind of the social muscle that when you join the team, you can actually go back and see, okay, let me see the last three months of decisions on what kind of decisions these team spends time on, that kind of thing.
Hugo Pereira 00:16:46 I don’t see out there, and maybe it’s because it’s underestimated the power of understanding that. So that gives me value and, and, and strength to see that, okay, let me see if that is actually a pain point that can solve so much. Um, that’s one of the elements. And the other one is just the way you search information on, I don’t know, confluence on how the company runs and is more futuristic view for rmo, where I would love that people just join a company and say, has anyone tried an experiment on the homepage that drove any kind of results in the past 18 months? And it just literally gives you the answer almost like the chat G p t approach, but, but just to give you the answer of saying based on three documents or based on four conversations, the last experiment was done on this date with these results, I think that would be an amazing memory muscle, especially as I also join a few fractional leadership roles as I build Remo Yeah.
Hugo Pereira 00:17:36 For, you know, very clear cashflow reasons on the personal side. And when I joined the team and tried to understand how they came to be who they are, it’s really tough for me to quickly figure out why they made certain decisions. Why did they pick, pick this vendor, why did he choose this strategy? And there’s no, there’s no one that documents that on any platform because it’s just too time consuming. So, but for me, it’ll help me a lot as someone that just joined the team to understand, okay, you know, how this team came to these decisions because it’ll save me so much time. So that’s the kind of things that help me.
Sean Ellis 00:18:08 Yeah, in a fast growing company like this, you get a bunch of the team members have only been there a few months also. So it’s really hard to find anyone who’s got the institutional knowledge
Hugo Pereira 00:18:20 <laugh>. And normally the first thing I do is almost look at the folder structure of the team. And if I look at the folder structure, also, because I’m very structured person, if I look at the folder structure, and if I spend more than five min five minutes trying to find something, I already know, okay, this is gonna be chaos. And in my team to, we discussed the folder structure every year, and it was actually a project on its own to just, okay, how can we document knowledge? And it had to be almost like not a objective and key result on its own, but it requires so much effort to keep knowledge just with the intent of saying, Hey, we are gonna disappear as a team. Maybe not now, but maybe in five years, 10 years, 15 years, this is gonna be a different team, so let’s make sure the next ones that come in have the resources to do better than us. That’s the way I think, you know, the ones that come after have to do better than than us and whoever was there before.
Sean Ellis 00:19:12 Yeah. I wanna rewind a little bit to, to, to a question I skipped over. Um, but, but one that I think is kind of fundamental to this journey for you. Um, if you, if you can like tell us a little bit about the, the, the founder sort of, uh, the, the founder experience versus versus, you know, when you were a part of these, these fast growing teams before maybe where, where some surprises are in that, that founder experience. Um, and just, I know you’ve, you’ve kind of touched on that in some of the earlier questions, but just digging in a little bit more about your day-to-day kind of culture shift.
Hugo Pereira 00:19:48 One of the hardest parts I’ve found was actually how to prioritize your week, your day-to-day. Because you can do anything. You can, alright, should I work on my deck? Should I go and start the funding round and go and do pitch nonstop to every single angel investor vc? Should I really focus on a product? Just, just go and talk to as many potential customers as possible? There’s so many things that as a founder, you almost might get blocked by the amount of things you can do. You know, like should I, should I iterate on the website? So I find that the right prioritization is a tough one, and I’m trying to center myself around, uh, nailing down the exact pain point that has the most value to what we are trying to address. And that is kind of my guiding approach. So is this getting me closer to figure out the pain point that I actually want to tackle?
Hugo Pereira 00:20:37 And is, is the solution resonating with them? But even any tough? So, but what surprised me the most, and I’m not sure if it’s good or not, but I was, was surprised by the amount of conversations that exist on the founder. The first question is always about funding ground. And I maybe because I came from a whole startup scale of experience, I always think that the first question should be about either the problem you’re solving or the customers you’re talking to, but almost immediate. I mean, when someone talks to me asks the one minute pitch and says, so are you raising funds? And I’m like, why is that a default way of building a company? And, uh, so that, that’s a surprising fact. So, so there’s pleasant minuses on that, but it was surprising to me to see so much attention given to wheat where I see multiple ways of growing a company besides the traditional funding ground or funding or, or, uh, race funding.
Hugo Pereira 00:21:29 Um, that’s one. On the other side, the best part is really the flexibility of your day to pick your battles. And, uh, and I I feel at best when I’m talking to a customer, you know’s talking about the pain point, I, I can, I can connect with the pain point. I’m like, oh, yes, yes, yes, yes, I know what you’re talking about. I seen a pattern. And then maybe the solution resonates with them. And yeah, sometimes it resonates and they say, yes, yes, you are on the right track. Sometimes they say, well, some parts resonate, some parts not because I solve it in any other way. So not everything is like flowers and everyone resonates and people say, no, this is, this is, this is too, too simple for me. So, but it gives me energy to talk to customers. And I think that’s the best part about being a founder, which is the chance to, you know, to just double down on, on that, on that part of customer advocacy or customer input.
Hugo Pereira 00:22:17 Yeah. Which at a, which at a scale up sometimes can be tough, you know, the bo the bigger it becomes, I realized that if walk towards the end, if I wanted to talk to a customer, I had to talk to the account executive, which said, oh, let me find the right moment to talk to the customer. And, you know, I just want to basically say, I want to talk to the customer, I want to talk it now or tomorrow. That’s it. You know, just that there’s no, why there is so many restrictions. Talk to a customer and everyone, you know, so, so that part, I’m, I’m glad I don’t have to think about that any longer, you know, it’s just like, okay, I want to talk to today to a customer. Let me talk to a customer today, or a prospect or a an audience. Yeah.
Ethan Garr 00:22:53 So, ha have those conversations that you’ve been having with, with different people in, uh, in different industries, has that helped you already kind of figure out where, where this, where you think this will resonate? Or are you still trying to figure out like who the market really is?
Hugo Pereira 00:23:10 Um, there are, well, I’m, I realize more and more that naturally if you are a remote team working asynchronously, this has more empathy. Product teams, marketing growth teams have more also affinity because they already run experiments. They already see the pain point of having so many decisions. So they understand, they understand the concept of, of experiments, for example, what a product team understands the concept of rituals. But for example, I had a few conversations with some people that came from sales or from finance. For them it’s a little bit tougher, uh, because they don’t run experiments. Some of them they reach usually just a weekly meeting or a biweekly meeting, and that’s it. So, so it’s quite a leap for them to think about, but how do I run an experiment with the team? Why would I let my team members run an experiment? How does it look like?
Hugo Pereira 00:23:57 So the, the, the knowledge gap is so much that, at least at the start, we are really focusing on product and engineering teams and some growth teams that are especially working remotely un asynchronously. And we know that the sweet spot is, is is somewhere at a, at a period of time if evolve at Reox was, which is less than 250 people and more than 10 people. So that’s kind of the funnel that I’m doing trying to get to ask as focus as possible on, uh, let’s call it ideal customer profile or repair persona. Even, even if it’s a wrong one, at least I’m focusing on understanding their pain point really well and the kind of organization they live. And then if I can build something that resonates, then yes, then I, I I, I, I’ll keep, I’ll keep it rating and if not, well that’s a great part of, of, of being a product led company. You just adjust, spin off, uh, um, try something else, try a new approach, and, and here you go again. That’s it. Um,
Ethan Garr 00:24:54 Yeah, I mean, when we, when you spoke to Sean a couple years ago, the thing I remember cl one of the things that really stuck out to me was you, you talked about, and, and I think you alluded to this a little earlier, you weren’t just trying to take markets, you were trying to lead the industry, um, which is like such an interesting way to look at the world. And you explained why customer advocacy was such an important piece of that. And it seems like for you, customer advocacy is just built into who you are. But as you think about what’s, what to do next, what to prioritize and, and making sure you’re not getting ahead of your skis, are you thinking about like, how am I going to lead this industry? Or are you saying, no, let me just figure out a mark? Is it sort of the opposite or is it the same?
Hugo Pereira 00:25:39 So mindset wise is similar. Um, but the difference with DV Box that I knew that I was at, uh, momentum where I knew, okay, this company is a good positioning, has already a solid brand as product market fee. The industry is just growing and it doesn’t know exactly, doesn’t know exactly what to trust or what are kind of basic questions. You know, was at a stage where, you know, people are almost asking the equivalent of how many emails can I send with 10 gigabytes? That was the kind of stage no one asks that today you have 10 gigabytes on your cell phone, you just use it. You don’t know how many videos of minute you can play. But at the time, people were really, really asking that, okay, if I use a V box, how many kilowatt do I need to drive 10 kilometers? Which is a, you know, a ridiculous conversation.
Hugo Pereira 00:26:24 You don’t need to think about that. You just, you just charge drive, you know, on a day to day basis. But, but that was the stage that they were in. So I was like, wow, we can really lead the industry because all the competitors were just trying to sell and build market. And no one was trying to educate the market and say, Hey, let, let us help you out understand this. So we took that angle. Now, this is a different angle, leadership team, engagement team platform. There’s so much knowledge out there. Um, and now I don’t wanna be to see, I’m gonna lead the industry, but I do have the mindset to say, I think there is a chance to influence the industry on what might be some different ways of thinking about team engagement, team ownership, peer-to-peer leadership in an era where that is becoming less and less often.
Hugo Pereira 00:27:10 So that, that’s what I think about. And a good example of how I still think on a partnering way. And we, for example, that the way we are launching rhythm is through a partnership with another company, which co-founders that I met, which were trying to address the same problem, but from a different angle. They come from, uh, a new type of assessment based on transactive memory system that identifies levers of the team and how to become more productive. So they were real that building that platform, we are building rhythm. And they said, well, we have the assessment, you have the tool that can help them track all the experiments and interventions. Let’s team up and do a joint pilot to our, our customers and your customers. So we are, we are now starting a pilot with a few, you know, even large multinationals and small companies because we don’t know who can work the best with.
Hugo Pereira 00:27:57 And we are teaming up and we might still finish the pilot and go our separate ways, but we are teaming up on let’s understand what, what this industry is about and what are the pain points that people are feeling. Um, so that comes from this mindset. And maybe if I was very competitive driven, I’d be like, no, no, no, you are a competitor, go your way. And I go mine. So elements of it are there, but I’m not giving myself and, and understanding that yes, this is gonna be an industry that also wants to compete and also wants to say, this is how we rank up against you and vice versa. So, so it’s a little bit different from EI box, but some parts of it are retaining.
Sean Ellis 00:28:32 Yeah, I think, um, you know, when you were, when you were kind of talking about like your, your day-to-day activity and, and where do you put your time? How do you prioritize these things? A lot of the, the examples that you gave came back to things that relate to getting to product market fit. So, and even as you’re talking about here, ideal customer profile, uh, is it, is it, you know, from 10 to 250 or is it somewhere else? And, um, so I, I wanna kind of stick with that theme and say, all right, o obviously so much of your success is going to be governed by your ability to, uh, really find the right product that, that meets the needs of, of a market that isn’t even fully identified yet. And so what I, what does that process look like for, for getting there, uh, that, that helps you guide some of that prioritization, but, but ultimately, you know, you, you said, you know, the, the pain point and the problem focus. I assume that you did some work there even before deciding to go forward. If you, if you didn’t think the problem was existing, the solution probably wouldn’t matter, but I, so I’m curious maybe what work did you do that said, okay, there really is an opportunity here. I’m gonna build a a, a company around this, and then what, what does it continue to look like now?
Hugo Pereira 00:29:53 So, so interesting enough, and, and what helped me here was also I joined acceleration program over the summer. Um, that, that helped me get into the momentum of it, but not with rhythm, but in a general how to be a founder and connect with other founders. So that gave me a bit of structure. Um, but what was most interesting that I actually work over three months of before even deciding that, yes, I’m gonna launch this, and, and that was spent on, let’s call it a phase I call, is even pre-product market fit, just language market fit. I, I, I think that that would be the, the best iteration, which is, is what I’m trying to promise and what I’m trying to address resonating with the audience without even talking about a product. So I think I, we got, I put a few surveys out there that was competitive analysis.
Hugo Pereira 00:30:38 I got probably 200, 250 replies to those in total. So that helped me have some competitive analysis there. Then I had four in-depth pilots, uh, where I build up a survey, uh, with the help of a neuroscientist, uh, person, uh, that was at, at, at the cohort. I got lucky there. We built a type of survey that helps just give a dimension to the team, and that helped trigger experiments that the team wanted to run. And then I’ll coach the team into running those experiments along with the manager. And that took about two months, and I did only with four teams, because there was no capacity for more. But I was in depth with, uh, one team of 40 people of marketing team, one team of 20 HR people, one team of just 10 people start up with the founder. So, so that was in depth talks with the team on a daily basis, see if the experiment was running and without, and then all the teams improved the way they were working at the end of it. So I was like, okay, there is some proof of concept, but was very much handhold. Yeah. So, you know, with someone helping them out, almost like as a consultant,
Sean Ellis 00:31:40 So kind of an MVP being more of a consulting actually mvp.
Hugo Pereira 00:31:44 Okay. Yeah. And the MVP was built, you know, a little bit with, uh, you know, using a survey tool for the survey, then using, uh, whiteboarding tool like Miro for the workshops, then building, uh, a Slack channel with a fake ai, which was basically not AI fake bot, which was me replying to all the team challenges. So they opposed there and I reply back, but all of that was giving me in depth information. So after the survey after that, and I did about 60 interviews with different people, that was like super intense. At the end of it, I was like, okay, I’m, there’s still something out there and there’s still so many pain points that is impossible to tap them all, but I’m gonna start with one that everyone talked about, which was the inability to affect change that they lose, they lose the interest and they disengage with the company, with the team at the moment that they say, I can no longer contribute and affect positively with the team.
Hugo Pereira 00:32:37 And I, and then if I doubled down on that, it was because they were not asked anything about the team. They didn’t have a say on how the team works. So then I was like, okay, there’s something about the team culture, and that’s how I, you know, then afterwards what I did was I put a landing page online, uh, and uh, put some Google ads, even be even behind it with some of my own managers to see what happens with the traffic. And uh, and then start me seeing, you know, like, okay, if I put something about this topic, X amount of people convert, if I put this more people convert, if I send this landing page to 50 France, five of them actually sign up. So I tested maybe 15 landing pages over two, three months and just seeing which one resonated the most.
Hugo Pereira 00:33:21 Um, and then in October I was like, okay, now I’m fine. Now I found a co-founder that was any very important part. Finding a co-founder is key because I was not gonna do this alone. Uh, and is a CT technical co-founder who I trust and work seven years with. And then, and I was like, okay, now I have someone that can build a platform which reduces the stress of building. I did a lot of tests, you know, I’m sure I’m out on something, even if I am not pinning, pinpointing exactly that whole, you know, golden egg of a solution, I still know that’s something out there. I still see the pinpoint being there and that for me enough to keep moving.
Sean Ellis 00:33:56 Yeah, no. And then, uh, you, you’re, one of the things you also touched on when you were talking about kind of the, the ideal customer profile, you said, I think you said if it’s, if it’s a growth team that is, has at least some remote element to it. So I’m, I’m curious, uh, when you, when you’re looking at the, you know, given that so many teams have moved to, to kind of hybrid and remote, is there, is there some market trends that are, are essentially making some of the problems worse that you’re trying to solve that, that maybe will, uh, maybe will increase, um, market need as, as you, as you figure out what that market need is and how to, how to solve it? There’s, there’s also trends that are growing that market need.
Hugo Pereira 00:34:42 Um, yeah, there, well, there’s definitely a few of them that are happening, and you see them popping up in a few, a few places. So naturally after Corona, the whole ho home and remote working is demanding for a different kind of leadership or a different kind of, of management. Um, because at the office, everything was very much physical present. And then in remote work, it was everything online, everything through meetings. But, you know, then everything that was individual interactions and sparks was replaced by a conference call, which means that people just got wear down and, and exhausted. Um, and now with hybrid work, it’s what’s happening is, is, and I think I haven’t seen any office changing that, which is you do a workshop now that you went back to the office, but half of the people are online, half of the people are in person, but the people that are in person run as if it was a physical meeting.
Hugo Pereira 00:35:30 And, uh, online people are just trying to keep up with it. So there’s still a disconnect on practices of engagement that really work out, and the people that are being left out don’t find a way to voice out their opinion, uh, because the trend is to do an employee engagement score. So people ask a survey to the company every six months, every three months, but the trend is that change on a team culture is happening more on a weekly, or at least on a monthly basis. It’s going so fast that changes that people have to start paying attention to the team more frequently than launching a survey every six months. So that’s one of the things that is happening, the need for a dynamic team culture rather than a fixed culture. So that’s one of those ones. And the other one, and that’s one that also is going to be challenging for me as well as a founder of a B2B SaaS, but there’s a sense of app fatigue. Yeah. So everyone is overwhelmed with the amount of tools, not because of a tool to compete with mine, because I have a communication tool, then OKR tool, then the HR tool, then the Salesforce tool, and besides the day-to-day tools on the application of the phone, which is a hundred. So
Sean Ellis 00:36:38 Yeah, the, the team I’m working with just to, to build on that, like, uh, I’m, I’m in my fourth month of an interim VP growth role that I haven’t actually announced yet. Um, kind of, kind of publicly for, for a number of reasons we could go into a different time. But the, uh, the, we, we recently had a conversation where we have, we have a process, a growth process that sits across two tools and, and the desire from the engineering team to consolidate it into one tool, for example, where it’s, it’s the more technical tool where some of the, the, the, um, kind of, uh, non-engineers that are part of the growth team are, are maybe a little bit nervous about going into, into a, a very technical tool. And so, yeah, this, I, I think it’s this app fatigue that you’re talking about. It is interesting. It’s like, gosh, do we really need two for this? Or can we consolidate down to one? And then you’re, you’re in a situation where you’re like now maybe even a third or a fourth or a fifth that, that, that are part of, uh, layering on top of processes. I think that’s, uh, yeah, an interesting, uh, background to go into
Ethan Garr 00:37:44 <laugh>. I used to, I used to refer to it as as tool creep. And, and I agree, I think it’s gotten much worse. I remember at, at one time years ago at TeleTech, we just did an audit of all the tools we had and what we were paying for and what we were actually using. And like, it was just like cathartic, getting rid of so many things that we weren’t using. But the, the reality is that, you know, I think people also naturally start to look to tools to solve problems and, uh, which I mean, that’s why you have tools, but, um, we, I think we over-index on the tool being the solution to more of a cultural problem. So we would, you know, we started with Jira and then we moved to a product called Clubhouse, then we moved to another product and another product. I’m like, I don’t think it’s a tool that that’s the problem. I think it’s us. Like we have to come up with a different way to work. Um, so it sounds like you’re, you’re addressing a lot of that.
Hugo Pereira 00:38:33 Yeah. So, and, and me and the, and our founder try to build some principles. So one of them is understanding that we have to build in mind that people should, at least to a certain extent, majority of the people should be able to use a tool where they are. Yeah. So if you spend your time on Slack, maybe there should be a way that you don’t have to log in and just can get all the information and share all the information and interact while without leaving it. That’s one of the principles. The other one is that it comes down with a survey. So the tendency to have more and more surveys to figure out what’s wrong with the team. And we are trying to double down on the idea that let’s try to figure out how to improve and help the team be productive and, uh, and have a good team culture without a single survey.
Hugo Pereira 00:39:14 Um, and, and that’s a bit little bit more challenging, but we think there’s an opportunity there because whereby individually you might not be able to open up your communications because it might be too private. But as a team, you know, having a chance to analyze the way the team talks, the way the team engages, the way the team decides, creates so much knowledge on how teams interact. And maybe that alone tech can tell, Hey, the team is feeling really tired, you know, because of this kind of like tone of voice or this kind of interaction. Maybe it’s good to give rest. Maybe it’s good to do something about this and that should be the direction and not,
Sean Ellis 00:39:45 I like that, like that yet another, what’s, what’s the energy boost program that we need to bring into there? Yeah, yeah.
Hugo Pereira 00:39:50 Something, something along those lines. So, so net that’s where we want to head on without building yet another survey because that, that’s how everyone gets knowledge on the team. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, but along with that fatigue, we just need that people are are exhausted of surveys, you know, that that yet another survey. And so yeah. So we are trying to figure out if there is a possibility technology-wise to do it, which seems to be, but, um, but it’s gonna take its time and it’s fine. We, we are here for the long run, not for a short term wing.
Sean Ellis 00:40:16 Yeah, yeah. But it’s, but it’s interesting when you say you’re, you’re here for the long run. Um, it’s, you know, hav having gone down a similar journey myself of, of being a head of growth at some really fast growing companies and then saying, damnit, I’m gonna be a founder and I, I have so much respect for founders, I’m gonna go down that journey. And then literally spending, you know, 10 years of, of working on some different businesses and some of them with some success and some exits and others with, with, uh, you know, none of ’em to the success that I wanted to have. And then, and then essentially saying, you know, I’m, I, I don’t have a great skill for getting to product market fit where my, where my strength is. It’s about understanding that product market fit and, and really accelerating into, into the markets when I’ve got a good product that, that has that need.
Sean Ellis 00:41:09 Um, I, you know, obviously don’t want to, does I, like, I, I, the reason I wanted to become a founder was because I have so much respect for founders. I’m, I’m, I’m just curious, when you do, do you go through periods where you’re like, man, I just wish I had product market fit to just grow so fast and just, you know, it’s, it’s so exciting and, and, and such an, an awesome feeling when, when you have something customers want and you just have to be creative about getting a lot more of them. How, how’s that kind of emotional journey of like grasses greener on the other side? <laugh>,
Hugo Pereira 00:41:44 <laugh> that is, uh, well that is that you’re putting it quite, quite there. Um, I, I think it’s, I at least on a weekly basis, I go through some sort of importer syndrome kind of, kind of feeling. I think it’s not on a daily basis, at least on a weekly basis. And, and the fact that I still do the fact that I still chose to build a product and not going for a full on funding ground, that really tapping into, I’m gonna double down until I find the customer. And then once I find the customer, once I have traction, when I say, yeah, this is really working and it’s great, then maybe I can look for ways to accelerate that go to market. Yeah. Uh, that was my choice of approach might be wrong or right, but was,
Sean Ellis 00:42:23 I think it’s a, I think it’s a smart approach actually. Yeah.
Hugo Pereira 00:42:26 And it was with economic circumstance of today’s market, maybe, maybe it’s better to do a better, maybe it’s maybe better
Sean Ellis 00:42:32 Want you once you take on money, then, then once you take on enough money, then, then essentially that gives you a lot of staying power that, um, and a lot of staying power is not necessarily what the goal is. You know, you, you, you, you don’t wanna stay if you don’t have a solution that really solves an important problem, especially if you’ve been down that journey with EVBox where you saw what real product market fit looks like. Um, but it, it is a huge challenge getting to that product market fit. And so I think that’s where if you, if you’re really confident you have it, then taking lots of funding to accelerate into it is, is great. But I I like the way you’re approaching it now. Yeah.
Hugo Pereira 00:43:13 So that, that’s the approach. And what I did was, um, I put a timeframe to myself, I said, within the next three to five years, I’m really gonna invest on this journey. So, and if I figure out that it doesn’t work or that I like you, right? There is a part of me that thinks maybe I’m not fit to be a founder and I have to come to the early realization because it’s not the right stage. Maybe from zero to one, not my style. Like it, you know, might be one to a hundred you and that, that’s perfectly fine. But I had to figure out if the zero to one is possible. Yeah. Yeah.
Sean Ellis 00:43:43 And part of that’s that experimental mindset that, that makes us good at growth in the first place.
Hugo Pereira 00:43:47 Exactly. Exactly. So next three, the next three to five years is dead. And I said that everything takes into account. So I even said, and we may and micro founder have this agreement if in a year and a half, for example, we are not figuring out with the product, we even said, okay, we go, rwa becomes a service company for a time period for us to get deeper knowledge and goes back to become a product company. Even that is on the table just to, just to, you know, just to figure out that if you can really make an impact to the people we want to serve. So that’s the kind of like non-scalable kind of people things that people do to five figure out there. And we are also conscious that most of the success stories that inspire us, all the founders said was a seven to 10 year journey and no one even heard of, of what you were trying to build in the first five years.
Hugo Pereira 00:44:33 And suddenly it grew when they, it becomes a success story. But then no one, you know, they say like, all the first three years of sleepless night challenges, you know, that becomes, you know, in retrospective, very important. But yeah, they are gone. And so I put a three to five year frame and then if it three to five, five year frame, I real, you know, we realize that, okay, the zero to one is just not our sweet spot. That’s great. I’m, I’m pretty sure this experience might also help me become an even better scale up builder if I decide to go back to that journey, uh, and resonate better with founders, right?
Sean Ellis 00:45:08 I think it has. I think it has for me, because you start to realize how important product market fit truly is, it’s not about the tactics. It’s about actually understanding why your product resonates with certain people in a certain way and how to acquire those people at scale to an experience where they’re gonna be able to appreciate the product. And I think if you haven’t tried to create product market fit, you, you could potentially breeze over the importance of that.
Hugo Pereira 00:45:39 Yeah, no, true, true. Truly agree. Yeah.
Ethan Garr 00:45:42 So what do you see now as the biggest challenge you have to overcome?
Hugo Pereira 00:45:48 Um, for, for me is the how to nail down one, the actual pain point I want to solve first and how we, and how we are solving really resonates and makes it work for those teams that trust us. Um, because it’s such a big topic with lot of pain points and even the people that sign up, they sign up for different reasons, for remo and all those different reasons are also different product development priorities. Um, so, so that’s really big challenge and trying to overcome that. But by just seeing which of the users that are willing to go to the better are also willing to sign that if it works well, they are agreed to the price, for example. And then I say, okay, maybe there is a pattern of the people that want to solve this problem are willing to pay because it’s such a big one.
Hugo Pereira 00:46:32 And these ones that say, yeah, yeah, yeah, this I really want to test out, but they’re not willing to commit. Maybe it’s not strong enough to, uh, offer pain points to, you know, to help people that are willing to pay for it. So that’s kind of the approach to overcome the, the biggest challenge that I see now with the rmo and what we are facing now. And, um, I, I think that’s, that’s the majority of the one. And of course, like finding the product market fit comes from this. But yeah, I, I think this is the biggest one that is on my mind, which is the actual big fan point. And with that, figuring out what is the ideal customer profile, not from all those, but even more funneled down to the, to the actual people that are facing it. Because now there’s a lot of personas, which I know from maybe box doesn’t work out. You have to go towards, you know, a few. And so that, that’s the other one, which is doubling down on the ideal customer profit profile. It’s not 10 to two 50, but it’s just 10 to 20 and that’s it. Right. And just doubling down all
Sean Ellis 00:47:29 The 10 to three, or at least in the, in the beginning and maybe it’s like to, to then tap into the 20 to 50. We’ll, we’ll need to, we’ll need to have a much more sophisticated product or in, you know, kind of a roadmap there,
Hugo Pereira 00:47:42 <laugh> and, and some, and sometimes there are conversations that throw you off and you, you don’t even know how to react. So for example, one of them was, was a, a CEO that signed up, um, 200 people company. And he says, I was looking for a tool like that for my management team. He wants to have all these active management decisions that are always lost, um, you know, centralized in one place that a team really uses. Well, he says, you should just build this for management teams and supervisory boards so that you all have the decisions that they made. And, uh, you know, if I want to go back and see if executive did the wrong decision, I can say, this is the decision you made six months ago and this is where we are now. But, but I was like, well that’s, uh, you know, was a little bit far off, but, um, but I was like, okay, this is actually an interesting proposition. Never thought just for the top top teams, because they’re willing to spend more if it works for them.
Sean Ellis 00:48:32 <laugh>. Yeah. But I think that’s, that’s a scary part of the journey is that like you might end up six months from now going, damnit, I had the answer from that one conversation and it took us an extra six months to go there cuz I, I just didn’t listen hard enough. And so there’s so many paths that you can go. It’s, uh, yeah, you can definitely be nervous about the path not taken. Yeah. <laugh>
Hugo Pereira 00:48:53 And, and, and it’s incredible challenge, especially we, even with scale ups, that happens. And, and to be honest, at at TV Box, even the previous, I think almost ev everyone faces there are so many parts to grow that even at TV Box, we found many of them. But because there were so many of them at times, the growth was becoming unsustainable because the requirements of customers are so diverse that you want to build products for all of them, whereby you actually have to say, we are no longer gonna serve this type of customer, and you have to let go, uh, of this chunk of revenue because it’s no longer sweeting us. So that’s such a scary decision to make, um, that I understand that. Yeah, a lot of scale ups this prefer to just keep on going and yeah, the market will ratify itself and then suddenly down the line they think, Hmm, I should have done that decision a year ago to avoid a situation where I’m now. And, and that happened also at TV Box without the fault of anyone. Just, uh, the sheer excitement of trying to become the best at everything for everyone. That that’s it. Yeah.
Ethan Garr 00:49:55 I think for founders, I, I know I, I remember thinking, you know, after, after the fact, hindsight is such a curse <laugh>, it’s, uh, being able to, you, you, because you can, you can absolutely look back at everything you did and think about a different way you could have done it that probably would’ve been better. And in the moment it’s so hard to realize that <laugh> like
Sean Ellis 00:50:16 The, the only thing that I will, I will say there, ha having, having like, uh, I don’t want to use too much of a, of a US term where we ca talk about it, it as like a, a Monday morning quarterback or a, you know, armchair quarterback. But, um, the, uh, which is an American football thing, but, um, but, but ultimately I, um, you know, when I look back at, at some of the struggles that I had, uh, with, with startups that I’ve, that I’ve tried to grow from product market fit, I think my biggest like regret was I got too excited about my solution and didn’t spend enough time really validating frustration around the problem. And I don’t hear that from you. I hear, I hear you focusing a lot on understanding the problem and making sure that you’re, you’re solving a problem that that really matters to people. So that’s good. Well,
Hugo Pereira 00:51:10 Well, the fun, the fun fact was the trigger moment for me on that. And it’s very hard because, you know, when you’re leading a team or a founder, you get to ex excite, you get to accept about your own voice. That’s what I normally say, you know, and that’s, that’s not a good thing. Um, but was actually my team taught me that on the day that I was very clear that people go to the website, they search by product, there’s no other way, you know? And then my, let’s call it lead generation, demand generation, head of growth marketing, because at the time our titles were all over the place, but she was the closest to a growth marketer. She was saying, look, ik, I think the user behavior is changing. I think people want to search by their use case by if they are, if I’m a facility manager, a workplace, if I am, and at the time, thank God I did that, I said, okay, prove me wrong.
Hugo Pereira 00:51:59 So she run the whole experiment on a navigation, on the way people consume the content on the website. And, and I was not just wrong, I was terribly wrong because all the open click rates to the website, time on pace, bounce rates, uh, uh, call to action, to request a call, all of that improved by 50% plus by changing the navigation and the way of interacting with the website. So I was so wrong that I was like, okay, I, I think I’ve got to a stage where I create a lot of biases on my own foreign opinions from past experience, and now I have to start asking more questions and let my team actually drive the conclusions and the experiments. So I think that was a, a key moment, uh, to my team to prove me wrong on that one. Um, so yeah, so thank, that was a key that was a trigger for me that led me was where I am today of thinking, okay, I have to keep challenging my own assumptions, which is tough when you are a founder because it’s me and my co-founder battling each other’s assumptions, <laugh>, and, and we have a small agent that helps us out.
Hugo Pereira 00:53:00 So they also challenge a little bit of our assumptions. Um, but, but it is a very small team to challenge assumptions with each other. Yeah. So I, I
Sean Ellis 00:53:07 Find that, but at least when you have different assumptions from your co-founder, that’s, that’s a particular focus of, okay, we can’t both be right here. Let’s, let’s, let’s vet and try to find what the right answer is. And so sometimes when there’s a difference of opinion, it’s, uh, it, it highlights an area where we should be doing some testing. Um, obviously we could, we could go on and ask a ton of questions and, and keep talking, um, as, uh, not surprisingly to, to even have you back on a couple of years later. It just shows that, uh, the desire to keep talking with you is a strong one. So, um, I, I, I do want to end with the same question that we ended with last time. And, and after you gimme the answer, I’ll actually play back what your answer was, uh, the previous time. But it is, uh, what do you feel like you understand about growth now that you maybe didn’t understand as well a few years ago? And we’ll particularly say like, while you were in the, in the heat of things at EVBox. Mm. What do you understand about growth now that maybe you didn’t understand then? Yeah.
Hugo Pereira 00:54:08 Well, first off, thank you for that question because I use that question so many times in interviews. Justed, the, just the question to say, what do you feel about, what do you feel like you understand about team leadership now that you didn’t understand as well a couple of years ago? It’s a fantastic question. I I absolutely love it. Um, I think the latest learning I’ve got, especially after EB Box is, is just, is just a simple realization that growth is really about, for me, finding a systemic process and levers that help you grow not just in a few months or years, but like for a decade or lo even longer. And for that to happen, it’s not a job of a role of an individual or even a team. It’s a stakeholder effort that everyone has to agree how growth happens, what are the growth lever, and having the buy-in on the path from all the senior leadership or key stakeholders if that’s not in place.
Hugo Pereira 00:55:00 What I’ve noticed at, at TV V Box, and even at other scale ups or startups I’ve been coaching, is that it becomes one individual or one team putting all the effort on the growth lever, but no one else is on the same page, which means that a sales team can sell a service that is not, uh, is not possible, or to a customer that is not intended to CEO and management team can make decisions that don’t fit the customer long term profitability. So yeah, for me, growth is a, is a, is definitely a stakeholder buy-in, uh, on how to build a systemic approach to, uh, to process that skills. Uh, that, that’s how I’ve realized.
Sean Ellis 00:55:35 I love that. I, I spend a lot of time in my, my current interim VP growth role of just essentially playing back the week’s learnings to the leadership team of how does this business really grow and how has our view maybe evolved a little bit based on new insights on experiments that are working, new data we’ve uncovered or even, uh, qualitative insights through the dreaded surveys that, uh, I can’t find, I can’t get away from ’em. I just, I, I love running surveys because I, I think it does add a layer there, but obviously, uh, users may not be as enthusiastic. But I wanna play back what you actually said last time too, just, uh, just to, to show that that constant evolution of thinking, you had talked about, uh, you know, paraphrasing here, but you cannot copy the strengths of a customer relationship, uh, competitors copy the way you interact with customers, uh, or cannot copy the way you interact with customers. And so it really comes down to the importance of building those customer relationships. There’s a, there’s a real competitive advantage moat there, I think is what you were saying. Uh, any thoughts on that quote, <laugh>?
Hugo Pereira 00:56:41 No, still, still still valid. Yeah, so I, I, uh, I, I wondering when do I actually apply that at nowadays with the startup? Now what I’m thinking that works once the foundation pro for product market fit is found. Yeah. So I agree. You cannot copy the string of a customer relationship, but the foundation to solve the problem has to be there. I think that’s the evolution from that thinking, because the TV box was a, was a given. So naturally I was thinking like that, but now I’m like, yeah, I have a great customer relationship with some people that are super enthusiastic about the product and they haven’t yet used it, or naturally because it’s being built or, or they see bits and pieces and try bits and pieces. But if, if it’s launched to them and they say, well, actually it doesn’t work the way I intend it, or I thought about, you can have a great relationship with them, but they say, okay, thank you very much. So, so now I realize you cannot copy the strength of a customer relationship. What’s the fundamentals of the pain point ourself and the product market fit is there, I think that’s the addition that was not there before. Um, yeah.
Ethan Garr 00:57:45 But, but interest, interestingly, you did start earlier on, uh, you mentioned that you really wanted to pay attention to what customers were doing more than competitors at this point. And I think that’s, that’s really critical if you’re understanding the problem, so
Hugo Pereira 00:57:58 Yeah, no, definitely. And, uh, yeah, I, I, every time that someone signs up, I immediately contact to say, Hey, can we have the call? Just, just to know you, to see what’s there, what, what, what you’re trying to solve with your team. I don’t even care if they like read more or not. I just want to, Hey, this is yet another person that somehow clicked on the access to early waiting list, better list for some reason. So let me talk and understand why. So that’s, that’s, that’s my best source of knowledge at the moment. Yeah.
Sean Ellis 00:58:25 Awesome. So, so key takeaways for me, uh, is just reminding myself of what a challenging journey it is to get to product market fit. And again, just, you know, kudos to all those founders out there who, who’ve stuck with it. Like the world would not have so many great, innovative solutions and, and all the progress if, if we didn’t have founders that were willing to hang in there and get the right solutions to the problems that, that the world has, uh, turns out that that’s not for me as much. So just seeing the struggles of that challenge, <laugh>, is a, is a reminder that, uh, to, to appreciate the opportunity to work with companies that have already solved that so that I can, I can pour fuel on the fire and, and help them grow faster. But, uh, but I, I have mad respect for what you are working on and, and wish you the best in continuing to get it dialed in and, uh, and, and driving success. And, uh, I, we will have you back a third time to talk about your massive breakout growth, uh, uh, when, when the time is right, <laugh>, that will be a good sign for both of us. <laugh>. Absolutely. Thanks son. Awesome, Hugo, thanks, uh, talk to you guys later. Bye bye. Thank you.
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